A new report makes the claim that animal hoarding should be considered a separate diagnosis from general hoarding. Margo Silver/Getty Images Even the hardest of hearts are likely to be saddened by animal hoarding cases, which too often reveal sick, neglected and dead animals. This is not an uncommon occurrence, either. At least 700 and 2,000 animal hoarding cases are exposed every year in the United States alone, each of which may involve dozens, even hundreds of animals living in filthy conditions. Some experts have struggled with whether or not animal hoarding merits its own diagnosis, separate from object or general hoarding. Researchers from Brazil recently released a report in the journal Psychiatry Research that supports the creation of the separate diagnosis. The group conducted field visits to the homes of 33 hoarders in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The average number of animals in each location was 41, mostly cats and dogs — giving … [Read more...] about How Animal Hoarders Differ from Object Hoarders
Donning a cape or a crown could help kids get work done -- even when they're tempted by attractive distractions. ballero/iStock/Thinkstock Pretending is fun. Take the simple task of making breakfast: Would you rather make scrambled eggs while pondering your utility payments or, say, pretend you're a short-order cook tasked with making the World's Best Scrambled Eggs for a celebrity? Breakfast is a lot more interesting when there's something at stake. According to a recent study in the journal Child Development, kids are savvy to this trick. Aiming to test the benefits of self-distancing (viewing personal experiences from an outsider's perspective) on children's perseverance, the researchers asked 180 kids, ages 4 or 6, to do a pretty boring computer task for 10 minutes. Although all the kids had to do was press a key when they saw a certain image, they were told the task was important and that they had to be "good helpers." They could take … [Read more...] about Pretending to Be Batman Helps Kids Focus on Boring Tasks, Study Shows
Once a child puts on the virtual reality glasses, they have a major impact on their stress levels, especially when they're undergoing a painful procedure. Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images Tell a child they need to undergo another painful medical procedure, and you'll probably have a kid who's racked with fear and anxiety. Tell that same child they'll have a chance to zap flying cheeseburgers in outer space while their doctor works on them, and they might feel a little different. That night-and-day difference in how kids respond to the pricks and prodding of their doctors is the reason for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford's groundbreaking use of virtual reality technology. As one of the first hospitals in the country to implement distraction-based VR therapy in every patient unit, Packard Children's lets kids participate in fun and relaxing immersive experiences that can significantly reduce their anxiety — and even their … [Read more...] about Virtual Reality Helps Distract Kids from Painful Medical Procedures
Humans exhibit a myriad of super powers, but could they be twisted and used against us? yogysic/Getty Images Superheroes are everywhere these days: television shows, blockbuster movies, games. There are even toy-based versions of superheroes, resulting in a perfect storm of merchandising. But while these fictional heroes seem unbelievable, there are actually real superpowers among everyday human beings. These powers are rare, but they can be exploited for their incredible abilities. That's why Matt Frederick, Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown of Stuff They Don't Want You To Know think real-life superpowers are amazing, but also inherently dangerous. In this episode of podcast, they start first saying superpowers are real. There are documented cases of human beings displaying amazing abilities such as an extremely detailed memory, seeing sound as color or even magnetism. Usually there is some genetic explanation: The people with … [Read more...] about Can Humans Have Superpowers?
Native to Southeast Asia, durians are famous throughout the world for their distinct, love-it-or-hate-it taste and smell. simonlong/Getty Images In Asia, the durian is called the "King of Fruits," but not everybody in the world bows down to these bulbous, spiny, custardy fruits. It's usually because of the odor. The smell of a ripe durian (Durio zibethinus) has been compared to sweaty socks, roadkill custard, rotten eggs, a gas leak and "a sewer full of rotting pineapples," but still, the fruit has its superfans. And now some of those superfans from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Duke-NUS Medical School (along with some financial donors who just love durians enough to privately fund a study about them) have completely mapped the durian genome to find out, among other things, why the putrid stench, durians? In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, the researchers sequenced the genome of a … [Read more...] about Cancer Scientists Sniff Out the Genes Behind Durian’s Famous Stink
Richard Sherman (No. 25) of the Seattle Seahawks signs autographs for fans after a 16-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 8, 2017. Harry How/Getty Images No one wants to shell out big bucks for a football jersey with someone's name on it that becomes obsolete when the player is traded to another team. Now, a new company says you don't have to. Rep the Squad sends you a different sports jersey whenever you like, allowing you to always show who you're rooting for on a given day. The Seattle-based business works like Netflix did in the video business's early days. You go to the Squad's website and select a jersey you'd like to wear. The company ships it out and you keep it as long as you'd like. When you're ready for a new one, you mail the jersey back in the prepaid envelope. A few days later you'll receive a new shirt. The monthly fee for this service is $19.95. Currently the company … [Read more...] about Why Buy a Sports Jersey When You Can Rent One?
Telling people to do more of one thing and less of another tended to hinder weight loss, a study showed. JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images Getting healthy can be overwhelming in scope, which is one reason why many people abandon ship after a short period of effort. Fortunately, scientists have uncovered the secret to health success, and it's a lot less convoluted than you might think. In fact, simplicity is the very core message. A meta-analysis of 150 research reports, recently published in the journal Health Psychology Review, concluded that similarly focused messages are what matters when helping people stage a health intervention, like losing weight or quitting smoking. Success is more likely when the messages are not mixed with both action and inaction recommendations. For example, if a doctor tells a patient to engage in only inaction behaviors, like reducing fat intake or reducing screen time, that's more likely to work than telling him … [Read more...] about Mixed Messaging Confuses People Trying to Lose Weight
A recent study details a new method for locating lithium in lake deposits from ancient supervolcanoes, such as those found at Crater Lake in Oregon. Jordan Siemens/Getty Images We've just got to stop using so many fossil fuels; they're ruining everything. And while there is no silver bullet to dispatch all our climate problems, electric cars could be one way we can begin to cool it on the carbon dioxide emissions. But in order to make electric cars, we need to make electric car batteries that can store enough energy to run a car. And for that, we need lithium. But the problem is, this light, silvery metal is becoming increasingly hard to come by. Most of the world's lithium supply comes from igneous rock deposits in Australia and salt flats in Chile. But as we continue mining those deposits to power our cellphones, laptops and power tools (and to manufacture things like nuclear weapons and psychiatric drugs), the possibilities of what we … [Read more...] about Ancient Supervolcanoes Might Be Key to Our Energy Future
"Physician, heal thyself," goes the biblical proverb. Does the same standard apply for surgeons who handle elective cosmetic procedures? Peter Dazeley/Getty Images At his San Diego office, Alex Roher, M.D., relaxes wrinkles and plumps deep lines one face at a time. For years, he's been administering vials of Botox and injectable fillers to patients eager to refresh their looks, but does the desire to look younger extend to industry professionals? Absolutely, Dr. Roher contends. "Most plastic surgeons have gone under the knife," says Roher. "The rate compared to the general public is much higher, from my experience." Cosmetic vs. Plastic Surgery Before delving into the propensity of surgeons to undergo appearance-altering procedures, let's get a handle on the differences between cosmetic and plastic surgeons. Although "cosmetic" and "plastic" are terms often used interchangeably, they refer to two different … [Read more...] about Have Most Plastic Surgeons Had Surgery Themselves?
The DSM helps psychiatrists and psychologists better identify and diagnose mental disorders. Tom M Johnson/Getty Images Before the 1970s, homosexuality was often considered a mental illness. Indeed, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classified it as such in its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published in 1952. This was not a controversial position at the time — it held with prevailing norms. But then gay activists started protesting at annual meetings of the APA, and presented scientific evidence opposing this view. In 1973, it was put to the vote and the majority (58 percent) of APA members agreed homosexuality should no longer be considered a mental disorder [source: Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry]. This change was a huge step for gay rights and helped to shift societal thinking on homosexuality. It also demonstrated the power of the DSM, the diagnostic manual of the APA, on … [Read more...] about How the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Works